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BOXING: OSCAR DE LA HOYA TO FIGHT STEVE FORBES AT HOME DEPOT CENTER

By Culturekiosque Staff

LOS ANGELES, 27 APRIL 2008- Ever since his emergence on the world scene as an Olympic Gold Medalist in 1992, Oscar De La Hoya's name has been synonymous with Los Angeles, the city that molded him into "The Golden Boy," a boxing legend. On Saturday, May 3, De La Hoya will face former world champion Steve Forbes, in what will be the first-ever boxing event at The Home Depot Center's 27,000 seat soccer stadium which has been restructutred to accomodate 31,000 boxing fans. The bout will also mark De La Hoya's return home to fight for the first time in Los Angeles since 2000 as well as his return to HBO's World Championship Boxing for the first time since 2001. De La Hoya-Forbes is the featured event of a "Homecoming" weekend the likes of which the sport has never seen. The match up will be televised live by HBO's World Championship Boxing beginning at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.

Promoters hope that the May 3 bout will not only pit boxing's reigning superstar against an upset-minded opponent, but will also bring back a taste of boxing's golden age, when the top fighters competed in front of tens of thousands of diehard fight fans packed into huge stadiums. According to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, ticket sales have been brisk with 26,000 tickets already sold for the May 3rd fight.

"I can't even put into words how excited I am to fight at home in Los Angeles and to be able to have the fight in The Home Depot Center's soccer stadium is just unbelievable," said De La Hoya in a statement to the press and whose last fight in the area was in 2000. "This is a dream come true and I am dedicating the whole weekend to all of my fans, those who will be there and those who get to see the bout on HBO rather than pay-per-view, as they are the ones who have supported and embraced me throughout the many years of my career. I promise to give them plenty to cheer about that night."

"This is a fight between two gentlemen, a match between two masters of the fistic arts, one who is the face of this art and the other a man that has never had the chance to prove he belongs until now," said De La Hoya's challenger, Forbes. "I will be ready and I'm coming to win."

Also adding to the intrigue surrounding this event is the return of Floyd Mayweather Sr. to the corner of De La Hoya as head trainer. In the opposite corner training Steve Forbes will be Mayweather Sr.'s brother Roger, who also acts as the lead trainer for the last man to beat De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

"It's great to have Mayweather Sr. back in my corner," said De La Hoya. "After this fight, Roger Mayweather will have to go back to the drawing board if he thinks Floyd Jr. can beat me again."

"Roger has the blueprint to beat Oscar and I'm going to use that blueprint, expand on it, and send a message to the boxing world that it was a big mistake to pick me as his opponent." said Forbes.

A 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist for the United States, Oscar de la Hoya (38-5, 30 KO's) is a champion in every division he has competed in from 130 to 160 pounds. "The Golden Boy" has faced boxing's elite for over 15 years, including Floyd Mayweather, Julio Cesar Chavez, Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, Arturo Gatti, Genaro Hernandez, Jesse James Leija and Hector Camacho Sr. In his last fight, on May 5, 2007, De La Hoya fell short via a close split decision to boxing's pound for pound champion Mayweather, but is eager to get back in the win column in 2008 against Forbes in his first bout at home since 2000. In his professional debut, De La Hoya fought Lamar Williams at The Forum on November 23, 1992. De La Hoya's first world title bout was in Los Angeles on March 5, 1994, when he stopped Jimmi Bredahl at the Olympic Auditorium to win the WBO World Super Featherweight Title. Four fights later, he returned to the Olympic to stop John Avila in December of 1994, but he didn't fight at home again until his 2000 super fight with Shane Mosley at the STAPLES Center. He now returns May 3.

A former World Champion who has come up the hard way in the sport, Stevie "2 Pounds" Forbes (33-5, 9 KO's) is finally getting the big shot every fighter dreams of and has no intentions of losing on May 3. An eleven year veteran who won his world title in 2000 with a stoppage of John Brown, the 30-year-old Forbes is a slick stylist with a granite chin who has never been knocked down, is unafraid of standing and trading with anyone. Winner of nine of his last eleven fights, with the only setbacks being controversial decision losses at the hands of Demetrius Hopkins and Grady Brewer, Forbes put a halt to the comeback of highly-touted Francisco "Panchito" Bojado in October of last year and he plans on doing the same to De La Hoya this spring.

Oscar de la Hoya and Steve Forbes will both arrive in Los Angeles this Saturday and immediately partake in activities to promote their May 3rd "Homecoming" bout at The Home Depot soccer stadium in Carson.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, May 2 from The Home Depot 8,000-seat tennis stadium with a live TeleFutura "Solo Boxeo" fight card followed by a concert by the Latin Grammy nominated band from Mexico, Los Tucanes de Tijuana and culminates with the De La Hoya-Forbes boxing match on Saturday night at the soccer stadium.

Travel Calendar Tip: Louisville, Kentucky

Muhammad Ali Center
144 N. Sixth Street
Louisville, Kentucky
Tel: (1) 502 584 92 54

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